“High Priority”

August 19, 2020
Intellectual Property Magazine

Partner Ryan Phelan and Associate Shannon Hughes Mastick co-authored an article for Intellectual Property Magazine, which published online on August 19, discussing prioritized examination and protection for COVID-19-related software innovations in the U.S.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, medical and / or pharmaceutical related inventions are making headlines, but there have also been numerous developments that are less medically related to COVID-19 and instead relate to software innovations. These innovations have been brought on by present day needs, such as an increased demand for video conferences, contact tracing and social distancing requirements.

Obtaining patent protection for such software-related inventions should be approached with care as the USPTO reviews all patents for “judicial exception under 35 US section 101.

“Additionally, when filing patent applications related to COVID-19 (software-related or otherwise), applicants should consider filing a request for prioritized examination under the USPTO’s newly announced COVID-19 prioritized examination pilot program. Under this new pilot program, the USPTO will advance certain patent applications related to COVID-19 “out of turn”, resulting in prioritized examination for qualifying applications,” the authors state.

Those seeking to patent their COVID-19-related software innovations should seek out a patent attorney familiar with the applicable law in order to increase chances of a successful application.

Subscribers may access Ryan and Shannon's article "High Priority" on Intellectual Property Magazine